Rick’s starting to think his best friend Jeff isn’t really his friend. He makes fun of Rick for his love of science fiction, he’s always picking on other kids for fun, and he makes lewd comments about the girls at school. Rick goes along with it to stay in Jeff’s good books - but he loves to watch Rogue Space with his Grandpa Ray, he feels terrible watching Jeff bully other children, and to be honest, he doesn’t really feel that way about girls. He doesn’t really feel that way about anyone.
So when Rick discovers the Rainbow Spectrum – an after school club for LGBTQIAP+ kids – he realises that there’s an entire world of people out there who might understand him better than he himself does. And with the help of his Grandpa Ray and his new friends from Rainbow Spectrum, Rick might just find the strength he needs to work out who he is – and how to ditch a bully once and for all.
Alex Gino, author of George – about a transgender girl coming to terms with her identity – has set Rick’s story in the same universe, and fans of the first book will recognise several of the characters. Rick’s shyness and uncertainty as he learns about his own asexuality make him a comforting figure for children experiencing the same thing, and whilst his initiation into the Rainbow Spectrum club introduces him to many new words and identities – alongside gay, lesbian and bisexual characters, he meets transgender and non-binary children too – Gino expertly explains what these terms mean, and how they can help us understand ourselves and each other with compassion and kindness.
An excellent and much-needed book for children who, like Rick, might not know too much about the world of LGBTQIAP+ to begin with – whether they’re examining their own identity or are simply curious – with a host of friendly, relatable characters to guide them.